Vocabulary for Holidays and Accommodation

The following words and terms may frequently appear when studying, reading about, or discussing Holidays (Vacations) or Accommodation. We briefly explain what they mean and give you examples to learn how to use them. Learning this subject specific terminology is a great way to improve your performance in exams such as IELTS, GRE, SAT, LSAT, Civil Services, and Banking.


A dream holiday

A ‘dream holiday’ is a holiday that you have always dreamed about.

A once in a lifetime trip

A ‘once in a lifetime trip’ is a vacation or holiday you might only experience once in your life, usually because you need a lot of money or time to do it.


If accommodation is ‘all inclusive’ it means your meals, drinks and extras are included in the cost.


Self catering accommodation is where you are expected to cook for yourself or provide your own meals.

bed and breakfast

A ‘bed and breakfast’ arrangement is where your accommodation and breakfast is included in the price, but other meals are not provided.

getting away from it all

The expression to ‘get away from it all’ means to take a break from everyday life for a short time or to take a holiday.

breathtaking views

‘Views’ are what you can see from a particular place. A ‘breathtaking view’ is a landscape or view that is so beautiful it takes your breath away.

A holiday resort

A holiday resort is a place popular to visit for holidays.

double room

A double room is a room containing a double bed - one bed usually shared by two people.

single room

A single room is a room meant for one occupant, usually with one single bed.

twin room

A twin room is a room with two beds for two people to share.

adjoining rooms

Adjoining rooms are rooms joined by a door or bathroom.


A porter ('bellboy' in America) is a person employed to carry luggage.

to book/make a booking/make a reservation

We can use these expressions and phrases to express intention to stay somewhere or to reserve a place/room or table.

complimentary room service

Complimentary is a formal way of saying ‘free’.

continental/cooked breakfast

A continental breakfast usually consists of juice, tea/coffee and bread or cereal. A cooked breakfast can contain eggs, meat and other hot items.

damage charge

If you damage, break or destroy something you might have to pay a ‘damage charge’ to have it replaced.

the lobby

The lobby is the entrance or reception area of a hotel.


A hostel is a budget form of accommodation where you often share a room with strangers.


A pub or similar place providing accommodation, food and drinks.

air BnB

A rented room or apartment, which could be someone's home.


Housekeeping is a term used to describe staff in the hotel who take care of cleaning, replenishing supplies, and sometimes room service.

ice machine

In most American hotels and motels, you will find an ice machine to keep drinks cool.

fresh towels

If you would like clean towels you can ask for ‘fresh towels’, or towels that have been washed recently.

tea and coffee making facilities

In some hotels and Bed and Breakfasts you may have what you need to make a cup of tea or coffee for yourself.

indoor pool

A swimming pool that is situated indoors.

leisure centre

A spa area or relaxation area, usually with some or all of the following: swimming pool, jacuzzi/hot tub, sauna, gym.


A small kitchen suitable for preparing food.

late check out

A late checkout is the option of leaving a hotel later than the usual check-out time.


A motel is accommodation in America, which is roadside and has space for parking.

parking pass

A ticket which allows you to park in a certain area.


The price of a room per night or over a period of time. You can have a weekend rate, for example.

per person sharing

A price which is ‘per person sharing’ is the price each person has to pay to stay in the room.

a charge

A fee or cost associated with something.

add it to the bill

If you are staying in a hotel, you might want all of your expenses put on a bill so you can pay for everything together at the end of your stay.

put it on my tab

A ‘tab’ is the same as a ‘bill’ or ‘an account’ of money owed.

pull out bed

A pull out bed is one which can fold or be turned into a seat when it is not being used.


A valet is someone employed to park and take care of your car.

wake-up call

A wake-up call is when someone from reception in a hotel calls you by phone to wake you up in the morning.

turn down service

A practice of preparing your bed to be slept in where the corners of the bedcovers are folded back.

fully booked

If accommodation is fully booked there is full occupancy and none of their rooms are free.


Vacancies are rooms available to book.

dine in the restaurant

This is a formal way of saying ‘eat in the restaurant’.

function room

A function room is a room in a hotel usually used for parties and weddings.

Would you happen to have a/an…sewing kit/phone charger/corkscrew/bottle opener/extra blanket/iron…?

This is a great phrase to remember if you need to ask reception if they have something you need.

I’d like to order room service.

If you would like to order food or drink to your room, you can order room service.

Is the kitchen still open?

This is a good expression to use if you want to know if it is too late to order food.

Is it possible to book/reserve a…massage/beauty treatment/dinner in the restaurant/function room/meeting room…?

This is a useful expression if you want to reserve a space or book something you intend to do at a later time.

Is there a babysitting service?

If you need someone to look after your children while you cannot be in the room, you might need to ask for a babysitter or use a babysitting service.

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